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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 10%
Pretty Bad: 5%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 14 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"A classic of paranoia."
5 stars

Roman Polanski made his international name with this genuinely frightening black-and-white nightmare.

Catherine Deneuve is Carol, a repressed Belgian manicurist whose more outgoing sister (Yvonne Furneaux) makes very audible love in the next room of the London flat they share. When Sis goes off to Paris with her new boyfriend, Carol is plagued by hallucinations of rape, arms reaching out from the cracking walls, ominous shadows.

Polanski doesn’t push the reason for Carol’s madness — we’re meant to argue about the meaning of the old photo of her, shown at the end — nor does he take us outside her head, except for a few scenes involving a would-be suitor (John Fraser) and his oinker friends. Transfixed by her quiet beauty, the man keeps pursuing her (and gets violently indignant when his pals make crude remarks about her), but Carol is in no state to see men as anything but threats.

The last half hour, set in the dark flat as food decays and Carol crosses the line from paranoid to murderous, is as intense as anything you’ll see. Deneuve is riveting in a near-wordless role.

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originally posted: 04/04/07 09:29:42
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User Comments

6/08/15 stanley welles a masterfully conducted portrait in mental illness 5 stars
11/06/10 mr.mike Requires patience - which pays off. 4 stars
8/16/10 ravenmad It was what it was. Kinda wanted to hit her. Snap out of it! 4 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan gloomy and slow-some good bloody murder scenes 3 stars
1/10/06 loulou Great performance from Deneuve. A film that makes you feel uneasy for days afterwards. 5 stars
12/11/03 john a stunning and scary horror film - utterly believable 5 stars
10/11/03 malcolm damn freaky 4 stars
4/30/03 John Bale Polanski's masterpiece in terror and mental breakdown. Deneuve superb. 5 stars
12/15/02 Charles Tatum Slow going really tested my patience 3 stars
2/09/02 R.W. Welch Owes a lot to Psycho; almost equals it. 4 stars
12/09/01 canoecarrier Puts most current "horror" films to shame. This one really gets under your skin. 5 stars
3/16/01 GeorgE McCaul The best Polanski film I have seen so far. Catherine Deneuve is simply perfect. 5 stars
3/14/01 Sthenno A masterpiece of silent tension mixed with startling images of fear and REPULSION. 5 stars
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